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Geoscience, M.S.

Students in Saint Louis University's Master of Science in Geoscience program apply physics and chemistry to study Earth processes from the surface to the core. These studies prepare our graduates for diverse careers in government, industry, consulting and academia.

Program Highlights

  • The University's geoscience facilities include a network of seismograph stations surrounding the New Madrid fault zone; excellent computing facilities; an environmental geochemistry lab with instrumentation to analyze the chemistries of waters, soils and sediments; a remote sensing lab; and a digital image analysis lab. 
  • Extensive research is conducted at the Saint Louis University Earthquake Center and the Seismic Analysis and Remote Sensing Laboratories.
  • Concentrations are offered in geology, geophysics and environmental geosciences.

Curriculum Overview

The non-thesis option requires 30 credits to complete; the thesis option requires 24 credits to complete, plus six thesis credits.

Three concentrations are available:

  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Environmental geoscience

Graduate Handbook

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

  • Active research areas in geophysics at SLU include earthquake seismology and tectonics.
  • Active research areas in geology include tectonics, remote sensing, and igneous and metamorphic petrology.
  • Active research areas in environmental geosciences include land-use effects on water quality, contaminant transport, hydrogeochemistry, surface water-groundwater interactions, river/reservoir sustainability, wetland biogeochemistry, fluvial geomorphology, coastal geomorphology and processes.

Careers

SLU's M.S. in geoscience program prepares students for careers in private industry and government agencies or further advanced studies. After graduating, alumni might pursue a career as an earthquake hazard analyst, environmental consultant or an exploration geophysicist.

For those who want to continue their studies after completing the geoscience master's program, Saint Louis University also offers a Ph.D. in Geoscience

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants possess sufficient GPA and English proficiency scores (for international students) and research interests compatible with ongoing research in the department.

Geology Concentration

Prerequisites include mineralogy, petrology, sedimentology and structural geology. One year each of calculus, physics and chemistry is desirable.

Geophysics Concentration

Prerequisites include structural geology, college physics, mechanics and mathematics through differential equations.

Environmental Geosciences Concentration

Prerequisites for the master’s degree include an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline with at least one semester each of calculus, physics, biology, chemistry, and geoscience, and a second semester of calculus or one semester of statistics.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcript(s)
  • Professional goal statement
  • Résumé

GRE scores are optional

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application and Assistantship Application Deadlines

Students typically begin the program in the fall semester. Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their applications by Jan. 2. Late applications and applications for the spring semester will be considered if positions are available.

Review Process

Faculty committee members examine qualified applicants' materials and make recommendations.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

For more information, visit http://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to assess relevant literature or scholarly contributions in the earth and atmospheric sciences.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply the major practices, theories or research methodologies in the earth and atmospheric sciences.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from the earth and atmospheric sciences to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience in oral forms.
  5. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience in written forms.
  6. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly or professional integrity in earth and atmospheric sciences.
Required Courses
EAS 5500Scientific Communication3
EAS 5900Geoscience Journal Club1
Elective Courses
EAS 5190Seminar in Geoscience2
or EAS 5390 Seminar in Seismology
Concentration Elective Courses
Select one of the following options:24
Thesis Option
Select Concentration Electives from the following:
EAS 5990
Thesis Research
Non-Thesis Option
Select Concentration Electives from the following:
Total Credits30

Geology Concentration

Concentration Requirements
EAS 5060Physics of Solid Earth3
Concentration Choice
EAS 5170Divergent & Convergent Margins3
or EAS 5180 Trans Margins & Plate Interior
Concentration Elective Courses 1
Select 18 credits of the following:18
EAS 5120
Time Series Analysis in Geophysics
EAS 5170
Divergent & Convergent Margins
EAS 5180
Trans Margins & Plate Interior
EAS 5190
Seminar in Geoscience
EAS 5280
Environmental Geochemistry
EAS 5390
Seminar in Seismology
EAS 5400
Continuum Mechanics in Wave Propagation
EAS 5410
Hydrology
EAS 5450
Advanced Petrology
EAS 5460
Geodynamics
EAS 5930
Special Topics
EAS 5981
Independent Study
EAS 5970
Research Topics
EAS 5980
Graduate Reading Course
EAS 5990
Thesis Research
GIS 5010
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Total Credits24
1

The non-thesis option requires 18 credits of electives; the thesis option requires 12 credits plus six credits of thesis research.

Geophysics Concentration

The Master of Science (Thesis) in Geoscience with geophysics concentration requires a minimum of 24 credits plus a written thesis of six credits. The Master of Science in Geoscience (non-Thesis) with a geophysics concentration, coursework option, requires a minimum of 30 credits and independent study.

Concentration Requirements
EAS 5060Physics of Solid Earth3
Concentration Choice #1
EAS 5170Divergent & Convergent Margins3
or EAS 5180 Trans Margins & Plate Interior
Concentration Choice #2
Select two of the following:6
EAS 5040
Potential Theory
EAS 5400
Continuum Mechanics in Wave Propagation
EAS 5510
EAS 5520
Seismic Exploration Methods
and Seismic Exploration Lab
Concentration Elective Courses 2
Select 12 credits of the following:12
EAS 5040
Potential Theory
EAS 5120
Time Series Analysis in Geophysics
EAS 5170
Divergent & Convergent Margins
EAS 5180
Trans Margins & Plate Interior
EAS 5190
Seminar in Geoscience
EAS 5390
Seminar in Seismology
EAS 5400
Continuum Mechanics in Wave Propagation
EAS 5450
Advanced Petrology
EAS 5460
Geodynamics
EAS 5720
Seismological Instrumentation
EAS 5981
Independent Study
EAS 5930
Special Topics
EAS 5970
Research Topics
EAS 5980
Graduate Reading Course
EAS 5990
Thesis Research
Total Credits24
2

The non-thesis option requires 18 credits of electives; the thesis option requires 12 credits plus six credits of thesis research.

Environmental Geosciences Concentration

Concentration Elective Courses 3
Select 24 credits of elective coursework in consultation with advisor. Example courses include:24
BST 5000
Principles of Biostatistics
CVNG 5330
Open-Channel Flow
CVNG 5370
River Engineering
CVNG 5930
Special Topics
EAS 5190
Seminar in Geoscience
EAS 5280
Environmental Geochemistry
EAS 5410
Hydrology
EAS 5981
Independent Study
EAS 5930
Special Topics
EAS 5970
Research Topics
EAS 5980
Graduate Reading Course
EAS 5990
Thesis Research
GIS 5010
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Total Credits24
3

The non-thesis option requires 18 credits of electives; the thesis option requires 12 credits plus six credits of thesis research.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Geology Roadmap

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ElectiveAdvanced Petrology 3
Physics of Solid Earth 3
Journal Club 0
ElectiveIntroduction to GIS 3
 Credits9
Spring
Convergent Divergent Margins 3
Scientific Communication 3
Journal Club 0
ElectiveEnvironmental Geochemistry 3
 Credits9
Summer
Thesis Research 3
 Credits3
Year Two
Fall
ElectiveIntroduction to Remote Sensing 3
Seminar in Geoscience 2
Journal Club 1
 Credits6
Spring
Journal Club 0
Thesis Research 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits30

Geophysics Roadmap

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Advanced Seismology I 3
Physics of Solid Earth 3
Journal Club 0
Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
Convergent Divergent Margins 3
Scientific Communication 3
Journal Club 0
 Credits6
Summer
Thesis Research 3
 Credits3
Year Two
Fall
EAS 5040 Potential Theory 3
Seminar in Geoscience 2
Journal Club 1
 Credits6
Spring
Continuum Mechanics 3
Journal Club 0
Thesis Research 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits30

Environmental Geosciences Roadmap

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ElectivePrinciples of Biostatistics 3
ElectiveIntroduction to Geographic Information Systems 3
Journal Club 0
ElectiveHydrology 3
 Credits9
Spring
ElectiveRiver Engineering 3
Scientific Communication 3
Journal Club 0
Elective 3
 Credits9
Summer
Thesis Research 3
 Credits3
Year Two
Fall
ElectiveEnvironmental Geochemistry 3
Seminar in Geoscience 2
Journal Club 1
 Credits6
Spring
Journal Club 0
Thesis Research 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits30

For more information about our program, please contact:

Linda Warren, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator, Geoscience
linda.warren@slu.edu